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Study Group 20 at a glance

​​​​​​​ITU-T Study Group 20 - Internet of Things, smart cities and communities 

​Study Group 20 is working to address the standardization requirements of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, with an initial focus on IoT applications in smart cities and communities (SC&C).

SG20 develops international standards to enable the coordinated development of IoT technologies, including machine-to-machine communications and ubiquitous sensor networks. A central part of this study is the standardization of end-to-end architectures for IoT, and mechanisms for the interoperability of IoT applications and datasets employed by various vertically oriented industry sectors.

The deployment of IoT technologies is expected to connect an estimated 50 billion devices to the network by year 2020, impacting nearly every aspect of our daily lives. IoT is contributing to the convergence of industry sectors, and SG20 provides the specialized IoT standardization platform necessary for this convergence to rest on a cohesive set of international standards.

An important aspect of SG20's work is the development of standards that leverage IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges.

IoT is a key enabler of the Information Society and offers an opportunity to transform city infrastructure, benefiting from the efficiencies of intelligent buildings and transportation systems, and smart energy and water networks. SG20 will assist government and industry in capitalizing on this opportunity, providing a unique platform to influence the development of international IoT standards and their application as part of urban-development master plans.

ITU put forward a vision of IoT in the landmark "Internet of Things" report published in 2005 as part of a series of ITU reports on the Internet. The foundations of the new Study Group are provided by ITU-T's experience in the development of IoT standards and the findings of the ITU-T Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities (FG-SSC), which concluded its activities in May 2015 with the release of 21 technical reports and specifications.

The decision to create SG20 was made by the Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, 2-5 June 2015, exercising TSAG's authority to modify ITU-T's structure and work programme between quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assemblies.